Bookish Things

The Rise of the Mega-Popular Author: Yes, I’m Talking Colleen Hoover

Before I was an author, I was a reader.

To this day, if I had to choose between identifying more as a writer or a reader, I would say reader. I wouldn’t have become the former if I hadn’t started out as the latter. As such, I still like to fully immerse myself in things like reading book blogs, Goodreads reviews and more.

Lately, I’ve been super surprised by the overwhelming presence of a few specific authors on my feeds. I’m not exaggerating when I say that on one Facebook group in one particular, one popular author was the subject of discussion on EVERY OTHER POST.

Yes, it was Colleen Hoover.

There were posts asking who had read which of her books. There were posts asking who else hated Verity. There were Instagram posts sharing artsy stylings of their copies. There were people sharing limited edition covers and seeking CoHo merch. There were posts debating about Hoover’s decision to create a coloring book based off of It Ends With Us.

One poor brave soul dared to post that they didn’t get the CoHo hype and could the group share other authors they enjoyed. They were promptly shredded to pieces as people clapped back that they are allowed to stan whatever authors they want and that her books got them through a tough time, thank you very much.

I totally get that people want to chat about culture and what’s ~trending~, but the idea of book chatter being mostly around a few mega-popular authors gets a little too echo-chamb-ery for me. If we’re all giving lip service to the same authors, who are already experiencing success, what does that mean for less well-known authors? What does that mean for us as readers?

And look, I don’t hate Colleen Hoover by any means. I’ve read most of her books and they kept me entertained. But they don’t blow me away and her mega-popularity surprises me. Did none of these people read Sarah Dessen’s emotional bombs as teens?!?

You like what you like. But when a very few authors become mega-popular because of BookTok and co., it can create an echo chamber where we all end up reading the same types of books. If we stick to only what people who are just like us suggest, we aren’t allowing ourselves to explore options that further challenge us.

And I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

3 thoughts on “The Rise of the Mega-Popular Author: Yes, I’m Talking Colleen Hoover”

  1. I grew up reading Sarah Dessen, and LOVED her! I remember Colleen Hoover about 8-9 years ago, when her books were free on Kindle. And a lot of her books I couldn’t finish. I just didn’t really love her writing style or the quality of her books (mind you, there were some Wattpad books that I LOVED, so that says something). I’m honestly kind of shocked she got as big as she has. I don’t think her writing is very good, but I do think her books are easy to read. Colleen Hoover is the author for people who don’t read a lot. People who never liked reading can fall in love with her books, because they’re easy to read, and give you an extreme emotional response.
    While I’m definitely not a fan of her (I honestly find some of her books really problematic, especially because young girls are reading them, and the relationships in them are…not great), I am happy that she has gotten so many people to fall in love with reading. Great post xx

    Melina |

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s